Saturday, 17 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Sunday’s weather system may affect region's low-lying coastal areas

MetService has issued a severe weather outlook for the Coromandel this weekend.

Waikato Regional Council (WRC) is monitoring the weather system which has the potential to affect some of the region’s low-lying coastal areas on Sunday.

"Better information is expected overnight and an update will be issued tomorrow," says WRC hazards team leader Rick Liefting.

“At this early stage, the weather system is due to arrive in the region on Sunday and is expected to produce north-easterly gales. Combined with the large king tide cycle peaking from Saturday to Monday, there is the possibility of localised inundation of low lying coastal areas, particularly at Kaiaua and Miranda, but potentially on the Coromandel’s east coast too,” says Mr Liefting.

On Tuesday, a new ridge of high pressure should bring more settled weather.

The extent and impact is currently uncertain, however, the east coast of the Coromandel will likely experience large waves associated with the north-easterly winds, which may cause localised inundation and/or erosion.

“Other coastal low lying areas of the Waikato region may also experience minor localised inundation, due primarily to the king tides, not storm effects,” said Mr Liefting.

The weather system on Sunday also predicts heavy rain fall, primarily across the Coromandel Peninsula. So it is likely MetService will issue a warning and there may also be flooding, especially over the high tide periods.

Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found here.

The advice from Civil Defence is to secure loose outdoor furniture, tie down trampolines, and check drains and gutters around your property.

High tides around the Coromandel are expected to be 3m - 3.3m at:

  • Saturday 14 July  - 07:37 and 20:05
  • Sunday 15 July - 08:32 and 20:58
  • Monday 16 July - 09:26 and 21:51

Sandbags:

"We have identified vulnerable areas to be properties close to the coastline and particularly those who were recently affected by the January king tide weather event," says our local Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler.

"We have a limited number of sandbags and are asking only the most at-risk property owners and residents to collect them and please take only the number you require to ensure that they are available to all those in need," says Mr Towler.

The sandbags will need to be filled with either sand or dirt and the key recommendation to ensure effectiveness of sandbags is to lay plastic/polythene against the building to be protected before packing the sandbags.

Information will be available at the locations below on how to fill and place the sandbags, or you can download a copy here.

Thames, Whangamata, Coromandel and Mercury Bay residents please give TCDC a call on 07 868 0200 or visit one of the Council offices to arrange collecting sandbags in advance.

For other areas, sandbags will be available from the following locations:

West Coast

  • Tapu Store
  • Te Puru Hall
  • Tararu Store
  • Waikawau Trams
  • Colville Fire Station
  • Papa Aroha campground (for use within camp)

East Coast

  • Kuaotunu Fire Station
  • Cooks Beach Fire Station
  • Whangapoua Fire Station
  • Matarangi Fire Station
  • Hahei Fire Station

What to expect with the winter weather:

Civil Defence has informed TCDC that MetService and NIWA confirm the Pacific and Tasman seas are still much warmer than normal and as such are fuelling weather systems, especially north west across from Australia.

"Every winter we get on average four winter storms that affect the Coromandel to some degree. This year we are expecting the same so are preparing accordingly," says our local Controller Garry Towler.

There are four dates for king tides that TCDC will be paying particular attention to: 13-18 July, 11-16 August, 9-13 September and 9-12 October.

"The last king tide chaos was only last January when the Thames Coast got smashed, so we know full well that if weather is brewing in these time periods we could have our hands full," says Mr Towler.

Council and Civil Defence staff are also working together on Community Response Plans, Emergency Operation Center training, external support networks and the on-going reminders for everyone to have their own emergency response plans sorted at work and home should an event happen.

Stay up to date on the weather and road conditions:

Weather updates: MetService.

State Highways (SH25, SH25A, SH26 in the Coromandel): NZTA NZTA. You can also call NZTA on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for traffic and travel information. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways.

Council roads: TCDC will post regular updates on the  Council's Facebook page as well as on the website and email newsletters. If you see an issue that needs attention, call TCDC on 07 868 0200.

Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here.

Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Emergency Mobile Alert - these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here

Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found here.

Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here.

Know your neighbours - phone each other in an emergency, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK.

To report a power outage, contact Powerco or your provider.

For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence "Never Happens" website.

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